Not all foods are created equal. Natural whole foods originally found in nature contain a wealth of high quality nutrients the human body needs in order to function, carry on metabolic processes, and maintain overall health. Prepackaged, processed, manmade/altered foods can be fortified to replace vital nutrients lost during processing but will never match up to the nutrition found in whole foods; 2 cups of baby spinach contains approximately 20 calories and is chalk full of vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber compared to 2 cups of a typical serving of cereal which may or may not contain a little protein and fat, has been fortified, and is equivalent to about 300-400 calories or more per serving depending on the type of cereal; it very usually contains a high amount of sugars as well. If you are serious about your health which two cups of nutrition would you pick?.
Proper nutrition (remember, high octane quality fuel compared to processed crap), ensures that an athlete (no matter their fitness level or age) has the energy he/she needs for training sessions, the nutrients necessary for tissue repair and recovery, and the energy needed for competition day. The types and amounts of nutrients an athlete consumes is very nearly the most important part of his/her training and when an athlete consumes those nutrients can also play a big part in their training and performance.
Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water are all components found on this earth and how they are processed and used within the body is simply yet complexly magical and we need them all for fueling our machines. In the body, carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars which are basically used for energy, fats are broken down into lipids and are used for energy or stored for later energy use, and proteins are broken down into amino acids which are used for cellular repair and maintenance; all of these nutrients have other roles within the body as well but these are the basics.
An athlete, ideally, wants to improve on his/her performance and to do this he/she needs to focus on building and conditioning lean body mass, mainly muscle which is highly active and minimize fat tissue which is not metabolically active; fat has purpose within the body but an athlete really can’t afford to carry around “dead” weight. So, you would think that all an athlete would have to do then is minimize fat intake, increase nutrient dense carbs, and obtain an adequate amount of proteins to support tissue growth and function but it’s not that simple; far from it. For starters, as you know, we are not all created equal….not genetically anyway; similar yes, identical NO. Our genetics will determine how our bodies will use the nutrients we consume. Next, athletic training and fuel usage vary depending on the type of sport being pursued. Endurance athletes will have different nutrient needs and intakes compared to those of strength/power athletes. Ultimately, performance, whether in training or competition, will be dependent upon when we take in (high quality) nutrients; food/nutrient timing before, during, and after athletic performance will impact efforts.
Nutrient timing can be divided into three phases; energy, anabolic, and growth. The energy phase is the time immediately prior to and/or during training time. The body depends heavily on glycogen stores within the liver and muscles and depending on the duration of training time simple carbohydrate intake will need to be continued via sports drinks, gels, bars….etc; these will not only continue to supply glucose but will also help to replenish electrolytes lost during prolonged exercise. Simple carbs taken in during this phase will also help to spare proteins, muscle catabolism, and aid in post exercise recovery.
During the 45 minute post exercise window that is the anabolic phase, muscle cells are most sensitive and open to glycogen recovery; this in turn helps to speed protein synthesis. Consuming a balance of simple carbs with easily digested proteins is ideal.
During the growth phase it is important to consistently consume nutrient balanced meals, meaning healthful carbohydrates, fats, and more than adequate amounts of lean proteins. The ratios contained within post exercise meals and snacks will depend on the specific nutrient requirements of individual athletes.
At Genetic Performance we recognise that exercise and good nutrition work in a synergistic way.
Synergy is when the total effect is greater than the sum of its parts ie 1+1 = 3.
This is why we don't just unlock your DNA code, we provide you with a bespoke training AND nutrition plan to help you achieve your goals.